A senior security official with the IDF, who was involved in the capture of many terrorists over the years, said on Wednesday that the deal to bring back Gilad Shalit is dangerous to Israel.
“As part of the deal we will be releasing 1,000 murderers in exchange for one soldier who is very important and dear to us,” the official told Arutz Sheva, “but we must remember that many soldiers were sent and made substantial efforts – some of which resulted in the spilling of the blood of our soldiers – to get those murderers behind bars.”
He added, “If we add up the number of soldiers who were sacrificed in order to capture these killers, it seems that a lot more blood of soldiers was spilled while capturing these terrorists than one soldier in captivity.”
The official further stated that Israel has had a very bad experience with such prisoner exchange deals in the past.
“It has been proven in previous deals that freed terrorists return to terrorism,” he said. “More than once we caught terrorists who were already in Israeli jails and were released. This means that in future we’ll have to compromise the lives of our soldiers yet again to bring those murderers who were released in this deal back to prison in Israel.”
“This deal endangers the Jewish people any way you look at it,” the official added. “I have no explanation for the decisions made by those who are responsible for the security of the State.”
Upon hearing the news of the deal to bring back Shalit, some family members of terror victims were quick to condemn the deal, saying it means surrendering to terror.
Spontaneous demonstrations took place outside the Prime Minister’s office Tuesday night, in which several dozen family members of victims of terrorism in Jerusalem protested the prospective deal.
Bentzi Ben-Shoham, whose sister was killed in the 2002 terror attack at Café Moment in Jerusalem, said that “this is a difficult day for all of us. It’s a happy day for Israelis with a short memory. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was unable to stand up to the other side in negotiations last summer on the protests for a lower standard of living, and more recently with the medical residents. But he apparently is able to hold his own in negotiations with arch-terrorists.”
Meir Indor, director of the Almagor terror victims’ organization, said that Netanyahu, “the ‘expert’ on dealing with terror, criticized in his book the 1985 Jibril deal, in which Israel released 1,150 terrorists for three IDF soldiers. But Netanyahu gave more in this deal. Netanyahu clearly crumples under pressure. I would recommend that the public begin wearing bulletproof vests from now on.”
In a televised speech he made on Tuesday, Khaled Meshaal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau in Damascus, said that the terrorists who will be released in the Gilad Shalit deal will “return to the struggle.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)